FEC, Senate approve $2.9b Eurobond to fund 2018 budget

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the Senate yesterday approved the issuance of $2.9 billion Eurobond to partly fund the 2018 budget.

The FEC gave its approval during its meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja while the Senate ratified it during plenary.

Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed conveyed the FEC approval at the end of its meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari

She said: “We got approval for the issuance of $2.9 billion in Eurobonds and other securities from the international capital markets.

“They are to enable us implement the external borrowing plan of N849.6 billion equivalent to $2.786 billion, which is provided for in the 2018 Appropriation Act.  And this is to fund capital projects in the 2018 budget.

“We also got approval to raise $82.5million to bridge the shortfall of 500 million Eurobond that matured on the 12th of July 2018.

“In addition to this approval for the issuance of Eurobond, we also got the approval for payment to transaction parties and their respective fees like settling bills and expenses.

”We have as parties for the transactions, two joint league managers, a combination of Citibank group as well as Standard Chartered Bank as joint league managers and FSB Merchant Bank as financial advisers; the White and Case LIP as legal managers and  Ighodalo as legal advisers for Nigeria.”

The senate’s approval followed the consideration and adoption of the report of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, headed by Senator Shehu Sani (Kaduna Central).

Sani who presented the report prayed the Senate to consider the report of his committee:

(a)  ”The implementation of the New External Capital Raising of $2.786 billion from the International Capital Market approved in the 2018 Appropriation Act.

(b)The External Capital Raising of $2.54 million to refinance the balance of $500 million matured Eurobond in the International Capital Market.”

The Senate asked the government to reduce or limit its external borrowing.

It urged the government to ensure full utlitilization of the loans to be obtained for the benefit of the country.

The upper chamber empowered its relevant committees to ensure proper oversight of the loans to ensure that previous loans taken by the country were judiciously utilised

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